In 2011, David Newman and others collected data on blackouts, showing that the frequencies of outages of different sizes follows a “power law,” implying that there is no “average” or expected outage size and that attempts to resolve small blackouts may easily trigger massive ones. Additionally, they simulated thousands of blackouts. Their results suggest that uncareful mitigation strategies would be uneffective because the complex interdependancies between small and large blackouts would bring the system back to an instability similar to that before the strategies were ever implemented! ∎
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